Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Quad State 2015 - Gallery

Every year, I attend the regional blacksmith's conference put on by the Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil - QUAD STATE.

One of the features of the gathering is a gallery of participant's work. This is an open display, but awards are given in specific categories. Every year there is a specific theme for a special award. Over the years the quality of the objects submitted has increased amazingly. (More and more pieces that are 'I wish *I* had made that'!)

Although this is a bit delayed, here are the pieces in 2015 that really caught my eye...

Table by Micheal Bendele 
forged copper with wood plank top

I have always loved Micheal's work - and have been a bit in awe of the scale and the lines of it.
This piece was fairly large, about five feet wide by about eight feet long, standing at 'dining table' height. The legs were all different, forged from bundles of about 3/4 inch diameter solid copper. The overall theme was 'octopus'.

Copper Vessels by Franco Ruffini 
raised copper sheet, gold leaf, sterling silver

In contrast with Micheal's table, Franco's work was quite small in scale. Most of the pieces were roughly fist sized. The detailing here was nothing short of amazing. The gold leaf applied to the interior surfaces of many of them caught the light in a spectacular fashion. Some might quibble that strictly speaking this is not hot forging work, but the quality of the series was exceptional.
(I was able to have a long conversation with Franco about this work, and came away quite impressed with his attitude to art metalwork in general, and this series specifically.)

'Devil in the Details'
forged steel, copper details

This piece, by an artist who's name I did not record, simply blew me away. The overall size here was about 30 inches long. As the title suggests, the fine work and degree of forged sculpting in the individual elements was incredible. (These images hardly do the piece justice, I wish I had taken a close in view.)
In the end, this was the piece I voted for as 'best of show'. 

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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